ESPAS - Valorisation des espèces végétales autochtones siciliennes et tunisiennes avec un intérêt nutritif et bon pour la santé

Promimpresa is the Coordinator of the ESPAS project -Promotion of indigenous Sicilian and Tunisian plant species with nutritional value and good for health, co-financed by  the Coopération Transfrontalière Italie-Tunisie 2014-2020

(First Standard Project) - Rif. n° IS_2.1_054, CUP n. G28H19000990005.

The project aims to increase the multifunctionality and diversification of agricultural production in marginal rural areas in Sicily and Tunisia, through the valorization of native plant species that have a great nutraceutical and health value, by networking researchers, farmers and companies operating in sectors related to the agro-food industry to create a supply chain based on these species that can have an economic and social impact for both regions. The use of Mediterranean multifunctional species present in Sicily and Tunisia (Asparagus, Rosa, Origanum, Capparis) would represent a productive alternative for farms in the agri-food sector of the territories of the cross-border cooperation area, given the possibility of using the by-products derived (bioactive components) for the production of functional food (preserves infusions, flavorings labelled with nutritional and functional claims), Phyto therapeutic products (supplements, Phyto complexes), cosmetic products (creams, detergents) and for agricultural crop protection (essential oils, aqueous extracts with a low impact on the environment and residues. The project contributes to bringing to the market a new range of products with a high nutraceutical and health value.

The project objectives are:

– To define scientific protocols on indigenous plant species with high nutraceutical and health value.
– To strengthen networks between researchers operating in the nutraceutical sector and agricultural operations.
– To co-develop market strategies for the promotion and enhancement of the production of indigenous plant species with high nutraceutical and health value and their integration into sectors with a high degree of innovation (Phyto therapeutics, cosmetics, nursery, etc.);

The main target groups are:

  • Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the agro-food sector and in the processing of fresh produce, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and herbal medicine companies;
  • Researchers;
  • Public and private stakeholders.


7 Scientific reports on indigenous plant species with high nutraceutical and health value
4 Training actions for 20 agricultural enterprises and 20 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in selected agricultural-related sectors
4 Accompanying actions for 4 agricultural enterprises and 4 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
4 Mobility and exchange of good practices between researchers and entrepreneurs
1 Scientific and economic network for the valorization of species
1 Market research on trade in native species with high nutraceutical and health value
1 Integrated marketing plan between territories
1 Collection of recipes and innovative dishes of Sicilian and Tunisian gastronomy
2 Euro-Mediterranean Forum on the value and market opportunities of the species studied
4 Market Agreements
1 Guidelines on the project's social impact assessment strategy


 30 months:  September 2020 - December 2022.


Lead Beneficiary:  Promimpresa SOCIETÀ BENEFIT srl


P1:Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell'economia agraria - Centro di Ricerca Difesa e Certificazione - CREA DC


P3: Institut National de Recherches en Génie Rural Eaux et Forêts

P4: Agence de Vulgarisation et de Formation Agricole

P5: Banque Nationale de Gènes de Tunisie

Associated Partners

PA1: Association " Appui aux Initiatives dans le Secteur Agricole ".
PA2: Société " L'alimentation méditerranéenne ".
PA3: University of Palermo - Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Sciences

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